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Gift Vouchers | How To Make Income During Lockdown

Posted on April 16, 2020 by theimagefile under Business, New and Improved Features, Sales and Marketing, Theimagefile

We all have reasons to show our appreciation to those special people in our lives. From birthdays and anniversaries to celebrating life’s big moments. Knowing what would be a great gift can often be difficult and in this day and age, many of us already own everything we need.

This is where a voucher can really be the perfect gift. They allow the receiver to buy what they want, whenever they want. Not to mention, the selection of gift cards available is now huge and covers an enormous range of products and services, guaranteed to suit everyone.

You can see why for the past eight years, gift cards have been the single most requested item on holiday wish-lists!

But What Can Gift Vouchers Do For Your Business?

Well here’s a surprising fact to start off with…

Ninety-three percent of consumers have given a gift card as a present at some point? That’s an eye-watering amount of people.

If you aren’t offering gift vouchers you are automatically missing out on this enormous figure. But if that’s not enough to convince you, here are the top three reasons to start offering gift cards to customers.

Increases Your Customer Base

You might be wondering…how can offering gift vouchers help increase your customer base?

Well, think of it this way…

Every gift card you sell results in your business interacting with at least two people. The loyal customer who purchased the gift voucher and the new customer who received it as a present. That automatically doubles your customer reach with just the sale of one gift voucher.

Plus, it means that your loyal customers are actually paying you money to gain a new customer. That must be a win!

Generates More Income

It’s been proven that customers who use a gift voucher aren’t as price sensitive as customers that purchase a service or product themselves.

Why?

Basically, customers consider the money on a gift card to be free or a discount. It’s not their money and therefore they don’t think of spending it in the same way. This mindset results in around 65% of gift card recipients spending 38% more than the gift card value. Another major plus for you!

Gives You Cash Upfront

Without offering gift vouchers, you have to wait for customers to book a service or purchase a product before you receive any form of payment. This can be hard on the bank balance, especially at quieter times of the year.

By offering gift cards, you are obtaining cash now while knowing you have ensured future business. In the current climate, this is priceless.

What Type Of Gift Voucher Could I Offer Customers?

Theimagefile has developed two types of gift voucher you can offer clients.

A Voucher Where The Buyer Chooses The Amount

This is probably the most well-known voucher type and is seen in almost every industry. The concept is that the buyer purchases a gift voucher with a particular monetary amount on it. The recipient can then purchase as many or as few things as they wish using the gift voucher. This guarantees payment of a certain value to you but, as I mentioned before, many of us spend more than the gift voucher amount once we get going!

A Fixed Amount Voucher

This is more commonly seen when purchasing a gift voucher for an experience. You will have most likely seen this type of voucher offering experiences such as an Authentic Indian Cookery Weekend, Sports Car Track Day or Off-Roading Quad Bike Afternoon. It allows a customer to purchase a gift voucher at a fixed price for a future event. For you, this could be a family portrait session, makeover photoshoot experience or even a photography tutoring weekend.

How Can Vouchers Work In The Photographic Industry?

Gift vouchers integrate perfectly into any industry. With photography, you already have an advantage as you have the opportunity to target customers with both a product-focused gift voucher and an experience gift card. Double marketing potential means double income opportunity!

What Should I Offer As A Voucher To My Clients?

There are a few things to consider when determining what to offer clients in the form of a gift voucher.

The first thing is your customer. Regardless of how many photographic genres you specialise in, there will no doubt, be one or two that make up the majority of your business and customer base. Focus on gift vouchers for these clients first.

Secondly, think about what your customer base would consider a rewarding present either to purchase for someone else or receive themselves. You want the voucher to appeal to your main market.

However, make sure that whatever you offer also gives you the opportunity to increase sales or future bookings. For example, you could offer a gift voucher for extra prints, a collage or other photographic products, social media downloads or even full-size full shoot download bundles for current customers to purchase for their friends and family. The options are endless.

Thirdly, make sure you consider how the gift voucher would best work for you and your customer base. For example, if you are a family portrait photographer consider adjusting the gift voucher to incorporate small and large groups as well as what else is included as part of the gift.

The purchaser then knows what they are giving as a gift which is reassuring and the receiver can easily see what they can apply the voucher to. For example, the voucher might cover a photo session for up to five people and include a complimentary print.

Finally, remember that if you are offering an experience gift voucher to try and make it extra special. If you specialise in makeover photography, for example, then don’t just include a photoshoot as part of the gift voucher but also organise time with hair and makeup professionals to really make your gift stand out. This creates a truly special and unique experience.

How To Set Up Gift Vouchers?

You can find out all the details about gift vouchers right here, however, here is a brief overview of the main points…just to make things easier.

  • Theimagefile handles all the details from sales and delivery to buyer to balance-tracking and final redemption. All you need to do is add a voucher to a price plan.
  • Vouchers can be added to a new or existing price plan. If your price plan is already existing it doesn’t matter whether it is set to self-fulfil or lab-fulfil, everything will work in the same way.
  • Vouchers don’t need to be spent in the same collection where they were purchased. This makes them even more versatile.
  • When a customer buys a voucher from a collection, the customer has the choice to associate the voucher URL with that collection so it’s enabled by default. A case when this would be useful would be – a customer wants to buy prints for grandma but can’t choose the best ones, so they buy a voucher instead. To make things easier for grandma she can redeem the voucher by clicking on the short URL link and completing her shopping in that private collection.
  • During the checkout, the buyer can also add an optional message which is shown with the voucher URL just to make the gift that little bit more personal.